A year and a half separated the Meat Puppets' first and second albums, and that time made all the difference in the world; sounding uncertain and fidgety on their debut, they had clearly found their groove, and 1984's Meat Puppets II was not just a quantum leap over their earlier recordings, it defined the parameters of their sonic landscape and is still justly regarded as their finest work. The Meat Puppets' earliest material found them trying to reconcile their obvious love of country and psychedelic rock while bashing away at hardcore tempos, but on Meat Puppets II they relaxed a bit and learned to let each song follow its own lead, and the jolly irony was that as they became more comfortable with their eclecticism, they also created a more unified approach that flattered the instrumental skills of guitarist Curt Kirkwood, bassist Cris Kirkwood, and drummer Derrick Bostrom, as well as the group's songwriting. The speedy chicken picking on "Magic Toy Missing," the punky roar of "Split Myself in Two," the languid noise of "Lake of Fire," and the relaxed, spaced-out groove of "Aurora Borealis" may not have had much in common on the surface, but the group's sense of stoned, sunny wonder permeated them all, and Curt's stellar guitar work and spaced-out vocals were a massive improvement over the blunt yet mushy attack of the first album. And though Meat Puppets II was a long way from slick, Spot's slightly more precise production and engineering gave the album a roomier, more approachable sound, and Curt's judicious palette of guitar overdubs allowed this to stumble gracefully in between vintage hard rock and neo-Grateful Dead influences. It would take Kurt Cobain's endorsement of the album almost ten years after the fact to alert the mainstream to the importance of Meat Puppets II (Nirvana covered three songs from the LP in their MTV Unplugged concert), but the album's playful trippiness was a welcome blow against the hegemony of the nascent indie rock scene, and decades later its energetic charm and resinous insights remain a delight.
Performance CreditsMeat Puppets Primary Artist
Derrick Bostrom Drums
Cris Kirkwood Bass,Vocals
Curt Kirkwood Guitar,Vocals
Technical CreditsMick Jagger Composer
Meat Puppets Drawing
Derrick Bostrom Composer,Liner Notes,Remixing,Cover Art
Cris Kirkwood Composer,Cover Art
Curt Kirkwood Composer,Cover Art
Steve Chadie Engineer
Michael Azerrad Liner Notes
Mike Hissong Remixing
Tom Carson Liner Notes
David Nichols Remixing
Robert Hilburn Liner Notes
Dennis Pelowski Management
Jeff Weatherby Engineer
Michael Gross Video Producer,Video Director
Tony Allard Video Producer,Video Director
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Meat Puppets II based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
The Meat Puppets' first album in 1983 seemed like mindless thrash with rapid-fire, indecipherable lyrics and hardly any of the songs lasting more than two minutes. If The Ramones had taken too much LSD, they would've sounded like these guys. However, when Meat Puppets II was released a year later, it was a staggering improvement. The band's influences were now all over the place, from Crazy Horse-style rock ("Lake Of Fire") to shaky Byrds-like jangly pop ("Lost") to even a little hardcore punk ("Split Myself In Two'). It turned out to be one of the most surprising and hilarious albums made in the 1980's. One reason for that was that Curt Kirkwood was becoming a protean guitarist with psychedelic inclinations; his instrumentals like "Magic Toy Missing" and "Aurora Borealis" made him something of an underground guitar hero. You also listen to his quivering vocals and you can hear echoes of Kurt Cobain, who would become a big booster for this band. Another reason was that the band was becoming more fluid thanks to bassist Cris Kirkwood and drummer Derrick Rostrum, going from pseudo-country one minute to garage-style punk the next. Originally released on the influential SST indie label, "Meat Puppets II" got an even better re-release on Rykodisc, featuring a few exceptional outtakes, such as their first indie single, "Teenage" and a cover of The Rolling Stones' "What To Do". Over the years, The Meat Puppets gained something of a notoriety because of their drug use, which eventually dissolved the band. But the band did stay around long enough to be a part of the grunge rock movement it influenced; uberfan Kurt Cobain invited the Kirkwoods on the now-legednary "MTV Unplugged" Nirvana concert to do "Oh, No" , "Plateau" and "Lake Of Fire", which are taken from this album. The Meat Puppets recently got back together again (minus Derrick Rostrum). Yet, this album remains an exciting touchstone of what was to come.. Then again, any album with a song called "Split Myself In Two" is worth checking out.
raw, great, real...NIRVANA
Meat Puppets II is an incredible album from beginning to end. Some of the most mindblowing lyrics ever written are found on this cd. Pick it up as soon as possible.